3-year-old child tests positive for coronavirus in Kerala: What parents should know and do; 10 safety tips

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New Delhi: As a parent, ensuring that your child stays safe from diseases and infections is your very first priority. Perhaps, with the novel coronavirus spreading rapidly across the world, it’s natural for parents to worry about whether their kids could be at risk of the deadly disease. Now, adding to the woes of parents, a three-year-old child in Kerala has tested positive for the COVID-19.

On Monday, officials confirmed that the child and its parents, who reached the Cochin International Airport at 6 am on March 7 from Italy, were immediately referred to the isolation ward of the Kalamassery Medical College Hospital, upon detecting symptoms of COVID-19 in the child. Till date, as many as 43 people have been confirmed for the deadly coronavirus infection in India. Worldwide, the SARS-CoV-2 had killed at least 3,825 people while infecting more than 110,000 in over 100 countries.

What parents should know about coronavirus prevention

Unfortunately, there’s no specific treatment for coronavirus infection at the moment. There is much to learn about the new virus even as scientists and health researchers continue to work on various treatments, including a vaccine, to help fight the disease. But the good news is that there are things that we do every day can help us keep our kids safe and healthy. While avoiding exposure to the virus is the best way to prevent COVID-19, practicing good hygiene and other healthy habits can keep you and your loved ones from catching the infection.

How to protect your child from COVID-19

Here are a few steps you can take to keep your family healthy and help prevent the spread of this deadly virus:

  1. Ensure that everyone in the household adopts good hand hygiene by washing their hands with soap and water often for at least 20 seconds. Keep an alcohol-based hand sanitizer (at least 60 per cent alcohol) handy for use when water and soap are not available. Wash hands before eating, after coughing or sneezing, after being in public, as well as after being around with someone who is or might be unwell.
  2. Make sure that your children stay away from others who have flu-like symptoms. Keep your kids home from school if they are ill.
  3. Teach them to practice good respiratory hygiene – such as coughing or sneezing into a tissue (ensuring that they throw it away after each use) or into their elbows if tissues are not available.
  4. Avoid touching your mouse, nose, eyes with unwashed hands, teach your kids to do the same.
  5. Wipe and disinfect surfaces and objects in your home.
  6. Ask your kids not to touch surfaces/objects when outdoors. A great idea is to carry some wipes with you when you are out in public – to wipe down tables, seats and other things.
  7. Encourage good habits, including eating nutrient-dense foods, staying active and getting enough sleep, to help keep your child’s immune system healthy.
  8. Talk to your child about COVID-19 to keep him/her informed, but not anxious.
  9. Watch for warning signs and symptoms such as fever, cough, sore throat, tiredness, shortness of breath, diarrhoea, etc. Seek medical help if your child gets a fever and cough.
  10. It is recommended that your child receives a flu vaccine each year.

Last but not least, try not to panic, instead, stay up to date about the situation, follow recommended guidelines for the prevention and control of the disease. Talk to your doctor if you have any concerns.

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